After the controversial book was shelved, the arrogance of the Halifax library broke

After the controversial book was shelved, the arrogance of the Halifax library broke


The Halifax Public Library decided to keep a controversial book on its shelves, which contained what the advocates said was horrific misinformation and hate speech, which led to strong local opposition and Halifax The destruction of pride.

A community petition was initiated last month to delete Irreversible harm: the transsexual craze that seduced our daughter Abigail Shrier from the library shelf.

But on Thursday, the Halifax Public Library issue a statement Said it had decided to “not review” the book and let it continue to circulate.

In light of this, Halifax is proud Announced on friday They are ending their partnership with the organization. They also urged libraries to remove the book and review their collection development policy, which guides which books are included in the library’s collection.

This separation means that there will be no library events in the 2021 music festival. Halifax Pride stated that it will avoid booking library space until the problem is resolved through a combination of internal review, policy changes and training.

Amazon and Ottawa Public Libraries have also retained the book, despite recent calls for its deletion.

Chris Cochrane, vice chairman of Pride’s board of directors, stated that they called on the Halifax Library to change their collection policy. (Halifax Pride/Chris Cochrane)

Chris Cochrane, vice chairman of the Pride board of directors and head of the transgender and non-binary committee, said this is not a step for the organization to take lightly.

“(As) a transgender person, I don’t argue about my existence, this book is definitely arguing about the existence of transgender people,” Cochran said on Saturday.

In a perfect world, Cochrane said that Pride would like to see the book removed. But if this cannot happen, they hope that the acquisition policy can still be changed.

“Before they do this, we will have to stay where we live,” Cochrane said.

At least one writer, Tom Ryan, said he would cancel the upcoming library-sponsored speech out of concerns about his LGBTQ youth.

Mila McKay initiated the petition-as of Sunday, the petition had more than 1,100 signatures-and after noticing that 25 people had kept two copies, the “terrorist cross” was withdrawn in April. “book.

She said that her first reaction was to be afraid of the children and teenagers around the people reading the book, so she began to discuss with the management of the Halifax Public Library that she thought the book was a safety issue.

“The impact of this book on even a child may be their life,” McKay said on Saturday. “To me, it’s like a canary in a coal mine. I’m really nervous about what this book means for greater discourse and attitude, which is growing in Halifax.”

Mila McKay initiated a petition requesting the Halifax Public Library to remove the “irreversible damage” from the shelf, but this week the library stated that the book will be retained. (Mila McKay)

Transgender Canadians are already more likely to report that they have experienced violence since the age of 15, and are more likely to seriously consider suicide during their lifetime. They are also more likely to be diagnosed with mood or anxiety disorders than non-transgender Canadians.

This is based on a study conducted by Statistics Canada in 2018, Publish in the report Provided by the Canadian Center for Justice and Community Safety Statistics last September.

In a conversation with the library, McKay said that one of the reasons she was told that the book was included in the collection was based on Shrier’s integrity and reputation as a journalist.

The library stated that after evaluating it based on their collection policy and the Canadian Federation of Library Association’s statement on intellectual freedom, they decided to keep the book.

“Public libraries exist to provide everyone with equal access to resources, and to support individuals to freely seek information and form their own opinions. When we take action to suppress access, we will conduct censorship,” the statement said.

The library stated that they are working hard to find more resources and new ways to promote “the latest and relevant transgender confirmation works in our collection”, and are working hard to provide space and establish connections to support the transgender community.

“We can work together to raise the voice of transgender people and create more empathy and understanding for marginalized experiences. We know that our dialogue will continue,” the library said in a statement.

The Halifax Public Library declined an interview request on Saturday.

Professor Jacqueline Gahagan of Dalhousie University in Halifax said that Shrier’s book should be treated as an example of misinformation and criticized, rather than taken from library collections. (Brian McKay/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Jacquie Gahagan, professor of health promotion at Dalhousie University in Halifax, believes that this book is harmful “junk science” and should be discussed publicly, but cannot be withdrawn from the library.

“I didn’t know that taking this book out of the collection would definitely solve the bigger problem, which is phobia and transgender hatred,” they said.

Instead, Gahagan said, this may be an opportunity for the library or others to hold a conversation about why the book is harmful and maintain the conversation in an accessible space.

“I fully understand how destructive it is to have such books in public places. But taking them out of public places just means that the conversation is going on elsewhere,” Gahagan said.

Recent conflicts between libraries and communities

Similar disagreements have emerged between public and libraries in other cities.

Vancouver Public Library is Banned from participating in the 2019 Vancouver Pride Parade After the controversial writer Meghan Murphy presided over a speech at the Central Branch.

In Toronto, a group of writers, Mayor John Torre And other politicians expressed disappointment that the Toronto Public Library will host Murphy in 2019, and Toronto is proud Said there would be “consequences” Their relationship with the library.

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